The CDC has released its latest travel guidance amid the coronavirus pandemic, and this week, the health agency raised a staggering 22 destinations, including Australia, the Bahamas, Israel, Argentina and Bermuda, to its highest Level 4 COVID-19 warning status, indicating a “Very High” risk.
Albania, Bahrain, Bermuda, Bolivia, the British Virgin Islands, Cape Verde, Egypt, Grenada, Guyana, Panama, Qatar, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, São Tomé and Principe, Sint Maarten, Suriname, Turks and Caicos and Uruguay were among the other locales the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention elevated to its highest Level 4 status.
The majority of the 22 destinations were moved to Level 4 from Level 3 status, though the British Virgin Islands were elevated from Level 1 and Grenada and São Tomé and Príncipe were raised from Level 2.
The CDC categorizes destinations as “Very High” Level 4 if 500 or more new COVID-19 cases are recorded per 100,000 residents within a 28-day period. The CDC recommends Americans avoid traveling to any country within the Level 4 category, and if travel is necessary, to be fully vaccinated beforehand. The CDC’s latest travel advisory comes amid the rapid spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant.
The health agency also moved 22 destinations to Level 3, including Costa Rica, St. Barthelemy, Fiji, Jamaica and Morocco. It was a big move in the wrong direction for Costa Rica and St. Barthelemy, which were both previously listed as Level 1, as well as for Fiji, Jamaica and Morocco, which were last categorized as Level 2.
At the moment, the CDC recommends unvaccinated people avoid domestic and international travel; the health agency also advises anyone who is eligible to get their booster shot. All international travelers returning to the United States must provide a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than one day prior to travel, regardless of vaccination status.